As part of our ongoing downsizing clearout, today I tackled Small Dog's basket.
Not the one(s) she sleeps in, but the basket she keeps all her worldly goods in. It's long overdue a sort out as the lid won't shut so I emptied it all out on the dining room table this afternoon to sort though it.
Small Dog is not at all materialistic. As befits her diminutive size she could even be described as minimalistic. However, over her 4 years she has accumulated a fair bit of stuff so we thought it only fair that she do her bit for the communal downsizing exercise.
I don't know what I was thinking.
My first mistake was to check which of her legion of squeaky toys was still squeaking. I did it very, very quietly.
But not quietly enough.
No sooner had I ascertained that the furry haggis did, in fact, squeak than Small Dog shot into the room as if she had been fired from a cannon. She then sat down at my feet, staring at me.
I don't know if you've ever been stared at, hard, by a Small Dog but it's fairly discomfiting I can tell you.
My next mistake was to try to spread everything out on the table so I could get a better look. In the process I knocked a squeaky Christmas cracker and an indeterminate pink creature to the floor. Torn between rescuing the cracker or the creature Small Dog grabbed the creature and made off with it. I later discovered that she had hid it in her travel carry basket, under the duvet.
Undaunted, I retrieved the cracker but failed to notice one of the myriad squeaky balls, which rolled slowly off the table, only to be leapt upon by Small Dog who disappeared off again.
Never let it be said that I don't learn by my mistakes, so I coralled all the remaining squeaky toys and put them back in the basket then turned my attention to the various articles of clothing which Small Dog has outgrown.
Her anorak with the hood (which she hates).
Her waterproof coat (which she hates).
Her pink roll neck jumper (which she hates)
Her little black dress (which she tolerates but only because she thinks it flatters her figure)
Her tartan bandana (which she actually doesn't mind)
Her baseball cap with holes for her ears (which she especially hates)
Not to mention the 24 foot long training lead which we bought when she was just a puppy, and would have been fine if we'd been training a pony or a tiger but was complete overkill for a tiny Yorkshire Terrier. The first time we clipped it onto her collar she couldn't even lift her head let alone walk.
By this time, Small Dog was back from whatever part of the house she'd been hiding her squeaky ball.
I decided that it might be a good idea to involve her in the process, so one by one I showed her the remaining items to see whether she wanted them or not.
Predictably, the flea and tick spray, the detangle spray, brush and nail clippers all got the paws down.
She was ambivalent about the whistle and reward clicker.
And adamant that she was keeping her red collar with her name spelled out in diamante, and her doggy pyjamas with the sheep on them, which are perfect for camping in the cold weather.
In the end, after lengthy Kissinger-like negotiations, we ended up with a carrier bag half-full of doggy stuff for Freecycling and everything else went back into her basket. However, no sooner had I gone into the office to list the items on Freecycle, than Small Dog was at my heels, nosing around in the carrier bag on the floor, retrieving various toys and articles of clothing which she carefully placed in her office sleeping basket.
Now, admittedly this did look quite cute. So after exclaiming
"Awww..... look at her!
And calling PP through to witness the scene, I tried to take one of the toys from her to be warned off with flatted ears and a low, menacing growl, which plainly said....
"This is MINE. And this is MINE. And all these are MINE. ALL MINE I TELL YOU!!! They are my precioussssss thingssssss. I wants them....."
Small Dog: 10 - Us: 0
And just in case you didn't believe the bit about the pyjamas.....